This is a gift hamper I'd loved to have received from anyone when I left home for uni. I had no idea what to take with me and what I'd need and didn't have to money to buy some of the essentials. I've had lots of cousins going off to uni in the past few years so I've made a few Fresher Survival Kits, which have been gratefully received. If you're careful and thoughful they can cost far less than a more traditional moving out gift plus the items really are useful.
Some of the items in there might seem a bit weird but honestly they all applied to my first semester of university at one point or another. Also, this isn't a 'must have' list (I've already done one of those) just a small gift, so I don't want to overload it with essential items they may already have packed.
Package it up in something useful that they can use in their room in halls. I use different things depending on the recipent. I've used small sets of storage drawers from Ikea, wash bags, a saucepan, laptop case and even a laundry bag. Students tend only to have limted space so I like to make sure the 'hamper' itself is useful and fit for a purpose too.
Fresher Survival Kit
What to include?
Well, obviously students aren't all the same so you can use your common sense and pick out a few items you know will be helpful and specific to them but listed below are some more useful and generic items I've included in a lot of the hampers I have given. Obviously you don't have to include them all.
- Eye mask - Halls can be an odd place to try and catch some sleep because everyone has a different body clock/has injested drugs. The lights would constantly be switched on and off in our hallway and I didn't get a wink of proper sleep until I bought an eye mask. These ones are 99p and these ones are customisable and are around the £3 mark.
- Ear plugs - see above but with noise.
- Painkillers of some kind
- Cold and flu medicine - everyone gets freshers flu. Everyone.
- Post it notes
- Condoms - I mainly like to give these to my younger cousins just to watch their faces go red. It's fun.
- Teabags/coffee/sachets of hot chocolate
- Oh and this may sound really silly but the amount of drunken bonding fun I had with my MA flatmates over a cheap pack of word magnets was amazing. You can get a packet of rude word magnets in most gift shops but we found it much more fun to make innocent words dirty and funny. They were something like this pack from eBay. We still have them on our fridge now and I abuse my husband with them daily. Marital bliss.
- Plasters/band aids - whatever you want to call them.
- Facepaint or some kind of fancy dress
- Breakfast bars
- Spices - they make it easy to pep up the most dull two-weeks-until-my-loan-comes-through-and-all-I-have-is-beans meals.
- 20p pieces for the laundry
- Fairylights from Poundland - Mine are still going 10 years after I first bought them.
- A USB memory stick, I've used this eBay seller a number of times for bargain memory sticks and the fastest delivery ever.
- Mini manicure kit - One of my cousins said this was one of the most useful going away gifts she was given. I think this is the one I got her but you can pick them up in most chemists.
What would you include in your ultimate Fresher Survival Kit?
P.S. Sorry my Wednesday post didn't publish, I've been having problems with Blogger all week. I will save it up and publish it next Wednesday. Clean ovens, ooooh yeah, I bet you cannot wait. Am I right? I'm right.